Unlike my father, who wore sensible shoes as a boy (I know because he never tired of telling me), I spent my formative years shod in adidas, Puma and Nike. My generation has a soft spot for trainers and I plan to keep wearing mine long into my 70s.
Millennials, however, consider some styles to be “dad trainers”. To avoid looking like a man in a midlife crisis, heritage styles are the best way forward. Take the Vans Old Skool (the first to use the signature Vans side-stripe), which first debuted in 1977, or the Nike Air Pegasus, first introduced in 1983. Boston-based Saucony, over a century old, has released an eco-friendly spin on its iconic Jazz Court model which uses cotton and jute, but no plastic.
The 373 by New Balance is another worthy retro option, especially in burgundy and white.
At the other end of the spectrum is relatively new brand, Athletics Footwear. Established in London, designed in Portland, Oregon, developed in Amsterdam and Hong Kong, and with creative direction from Berlin and Paris, its ONE.2 is positioned at the intersection of nostalgia and innovation. These and the Lacoste Game Advance would be my first choice for a trainer to actually go running in.
For versatility, the retro plimsoll or pump takes some beating. You can even wear it with a suit.
Zara has a style with a double-stripe that looks like it has teleported from the mid-70s, while M&S Collection has a canvas lace-up in a wide range of colours that, at £25 a pop, you can afford to have some fun with.
Miami Coast (Navy) £110 by Timberland
Athletics ONE.2 (Grey/Formal Grey/G3 Grape) €175 (£160) by Athletics Footwear
Game Advance £85 by Lacoste
Jazz Court RFG £120 by Saucony Originals
Old Skool (Navy) £60 by Vans
Nike Air Pegasus 83 £90 by Nike
Terrace (Side-Stripe) £80 by Dune London
Wilks trainer £49 by KG Kurt Geiger
373 (Burgundy/White) £65 by New Balance
Canyon (Sage Green) £88 by Tropicfeel
Canvas lace-up (Dark Red) £25 by Marks & Spencer Collection
Double stripe £35.99 by Zara